Ingrown nails occur when your nail grows into your skin instead of over it. This happens more with toenails rather than with fingernails, especially with the big toe. When you have ingrown toenails, also called Onychocryptosis, you may have symptoms in stages. First there could be swelling, tenderness and hardness. If your toe gets infected, there could be redness, pus coming out of your toe, bleeding, pain, and a hot or shivery feeling. It is important that you get rid of your ingrown toenail as quickly as possible.
There are several different causes of ingrown toenails. You can get ingrown toenails if you cut your toenails too short; round your nail edges; wear ill-fitting shoes or hosiery that press your nail into your toe; injure your toe by stubbing or jamming it; put repeated stress on your toes due to physical activity such as ballet, running, or soccer, and inherit genes that predispose you to have them.
Certain conservative treatments include soaks, elevation, proper nail cutting, and good foot hygiene. Your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics for a possible infection.
If you have a general medical condition like diabetes this may predispose you to have ingrown toenails and possible severe complications such as a foot ulcer or even, gangrene. If you suffer from a painful, red ingrown toenail that does not disappear given time, you should consult your cosmetic surgeon. If your ingrown toenail is left untreated, it may result in an infection of the underlying bone and lead to a serious bone infection.
Dr. S. Suma understands the seriousness of an ingrown toenail and will work on it with as much dedication as she does to the other cosmetic surgery procedures. She will most probably recommend surgical treatment for ingrown toenails. She will also recommend certain precautions to take at home to prevent the ingrown toenail from occurring again.
Before your Ingrown Toenail Surgery
Your cosmetic surgeon will take a detailed medical history, particularly with reference to certain medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis, thyroid problems, and so on. She will also conduct a detailed physical exam of your nails and may also take photographs for your medical record.
She will also give you detailed instructions as to what medications, if any, to stop prior to surgery.
She may also advise you stop smoking and consuming alcohol, particularly if you have an infected toenail, as these delay healing.
You should follow your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions to the letter. Dr. S. Suma is one such cosmetic surgeon. She will prep you for your ingrown toenail surgery with great care and will take a detailed medical history and conduct a detailed physical exam prior to surgery. She will also instruct you as to how to take care of your ingrown toenail before the actual surgery.
During your Ingrown Toenail Surgery
There are different types of surgical treatments for an ingrown toenail. Some of them include a temporary resection and removal of the offending nail border or corner; detachment (avulsion) of the nail or nail border, or permanent elimination of the nail (also called a matrixectomy) or the nail border (partial matrixectomy). All of these can result in removing the ingrown toenail.
The nail matrix is under the skin and at the base of the toenail. These procedures can be done surgically by dissection. They can also be done chemically or electrically by destroying all of part of the matrix cells. These procedures are carried out by your cosmetic surgeon for chronic or recurrent situations.
However, nail avulsion and matrixectomy do require local anaesthesia. The anaesthesia is injected directly into the toe and the effects last for the duration of surgery.
Precautions and Procedures before and after Ingrown Toenail Surgery
You should follow all your cosmetic surgeon’s instructions before, during, and after your ingrown toenail surgery. Post-surgery, your operated foot should be elevated for the remainder of the day.
Typically, the dressings are removed the day after the procedure. This should be followed by application of an antibacterial cream and a small bandage twice a day for one to two weeks. This prevents the chance of any infection.
Open toe or loose-fitting and wide shoes are recommended during healing, as these avoid putting pressure on your toe. Your cosmetic surgeon may want to see you for a post-surgery follow-up to ensure that your wound is healing properly.
Ingrown Toenail Surgery Result
Unless a large section of the nail was removed during surgery, the overall appearance of the nail will not change significantly. If the nail matrix is not removed or cauterized, the nail will regrow to its original appearance and width. The result will depend on the type of surgery carried out for your ingrown toenails. Surgery is the permanent solution for ingrown toenails.
If you are considering ingrown toenail surgery, you should consult with Dr. S. Suma. She is an extremely skilled plastic, cosmetic, and reconstructive surgeon who treats each patient as an individual and holistically. She will determine the treatment you need for your ingrown toenail and will help you deal with the procedure, as well as the recovery stage for best results.